US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

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US President Donald Trump’s administration is considering sanction waivers for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a US government official said on Friday.

The US withdrew from a deal on Iran’s nuclear program in May and will individually impose sanctions on Iran's crude oil consumers on November 4.

These sanctions are aimed at forcing Tehran to stop its intervention in Syria and Iraq and end its ballistic missile program. Iran says it has abided by the nuclear deal signed in 2015 with five major powers including the United States.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the administration was “in the midst of an internal process” of considering exemptions for major cuts.

The official said the administration “is ready to work with countries that reduce their imports on a case-by-case basis.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in India last month that the administration would consider sanction waivers and that Iranian oil buyers should take a “little bit of time” to stop their trade with Iran.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Thursday that the administration’s goal was that there be no waivers and “exports of Iranian oil and gas and condensates drops to zero.” Bolton added that the administration would not necessarily achieve that.

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